Man jailed for 1993 murder - St Albans

|News, Violent crime

A man appeared at Woolwich Crown Court today, Wednesday, 31 January 2018, and was jailed for life and is to serve a minimum of 25 years' imprisonment for the murder of a man in St Albans in 1993.

Justin Clarke, also known as Martin Anthony Maher, aged 62, from Surrey, was sentenced today after being found guilty yesterday, Tuesday, 30 January 2018, of the murder, conspiracy to defraud, and offering to supply a class B drug (cannabis), following a two week trial.

The court heard how Clarke, who refused to be present in court for the trial or have anyone represent him legally, had tried to con Paul Milburn, aged 43, out of thousands of pounds by selling him blocks of wax made to look like cannabis resin.

Clarke, and some associates, drove to Noke Lane, St Albans on the afternoon of 26 April 1993, and Clarke hid in some bushes. Paul Milburn arrived and while the 'drugs' were being placed into his car, Clarke sprung out from the bushes and shot Paul Milburn at close range with an automatic pistol as he tried to drive away.

Following the shooting, Clarke, then aged 37, went on the run and was eventually traced in Berlin. He was arrested in February 2016 under a European Arrest Warrant and extradited back to the UK in September 2016.

James Cable, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “Our Complex Casework Unit and the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit received information as to the whereabouts of Justin Clarke, also known as Martin Maher, and actively sought to obtain his extradition back to the UK. He was detained in Germany on a European arrest warrant in the February and deported from Germany to the UK 26 September 2016, to answer the charges of murder, conspiracy to defraud, and offering to supply a class B drug (cannabis).

“Clarke evaded justice for almost 25 years and failed to engage in his trial. However, scientific evidence including ammunition comparison, glass fragments, fingerprints, and bloodstaining, coupled with advances in DNA profiling concluded that Clarke had been at the scene and was the man responsible for the fatal shooting in St Albans in 1993.

“Due to the perseverance, hard work and dedication of the prosecution team, and the public spirited people from 1993, who were willing to support the prosecution, Clarke has been found guilty of murder, conspiracy to defraud, and offering to supply a class B drug (cannabis) despite his denials. The outcome demonstrates to people who commit such offences that they are never safe from justice and that our determination to ensure that justice is done remains undimmed, even years after offences are committed. Our thoughts remain with Mr Milburn’s family and friends at this time.”

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